Nicola Sturgeon wishes to return the Scottish fishing industry back into the hands of this European Union if she succeeds in securing freedom from the UK, despite fishermen throughout the nation requiring complete control of British waters. Under Ms Sturgeon’s plan, Scottish sailors could once again have to abide by the contentious Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), despite coastal communities bemoaning the limitations imposed under the system. Fishing For Leave said the EU has a “critical dependency on UK seafood exports”, which will only rise if the UK Government ends the capability of EU fleets to catch 60 percentages of fish in British waters which represent a third of the overall catches.
The campaign group also added Brussels is also heavily determined by the “financial powerhouse” of London.
But in a few of the strongest warnings yet to Boris Johnson, Fishing for Leave stated giving any leeway to the EU over UK fishing rights in a post-Brexit free-trade deal with the EU could also watch his Conservative Party lose several coastal constituencies – especially in Scotland.
“The actual cost of sacrificing fishing is political. It might enrage the people that see fishing as totemic.
“It might cost the Conservatives a plethora of coastal constituencies. Particularly.
“The sacrifice of fishing could tip the scales into Indyref2 and the break from Britain.
“That would be a much higher price than anything that the EU is offering.
On January 31 – the day Britain abandoned the EU – the authorities updated its advice for the country’s fishermen.
It says: “Your present regulatory duties under the Common Fisheries Policy and marine surroundings legislation stay in full effect throughout 2020.
“There are not any adjustments to your operational coverage requirements or obligations.
“The aim is to conclude an EU-UK Fisheries Agreement by 1 July 2020 and a Free Trade Agreement with the EU at the end of December 2020.
“Marine Scotland will continue to track the progress of the negotiations and how this can affect your company in January 2020.
“The EU has distinct fishing requirements for ‘third countries’ (countries not in the EU). If the transition interval ends before an EU trade deal has been agreed (a ‘no deal’ scenario) Scottish fisheries will have to stick to those requirements.
But last month, a Holyrood committee has been advised the UK Government will be preparing to “trade off” Scotland’s fishing sector in post-Brexit trade deal negotiations to ensure Britain’s profitable financial industry is protected.
Mr Grant said: “Fish might be the most difficult part of the whole negotiation. I’ve been told by some member state governments, that they will not agree to any agreement on anything unless the British give in on fish quickly.
“And I have heard a senior person in London, a part of this government, say we may need to give on fish, we may have to give the EU access to our own waters or we won’t get anything for the city of London, so that I believe for the Scottish people particularly, this might be an extremely important issue.
“There is a strong point of view in London that British fish can be sold to get a better bargain on financial services and that I feel the EU will be absolutely quite difficult on this.”
The SFF warned failure to get complete control of access to British waters over the second stage of Brexit discussions are a “colossal betrayal” of the fishing sector.